ROCKABILLY | Phantom Playboys
Fri. Aug. 22
10 p.m.
The Mill

Brian Wilson once sang, “I just wasn’t made for these times.” If this has ever crossed your mind while listening to 1950s rock ‘n’ roll, you should probably check out Phantom Playboys, a rockabilly troupe out of Chapel Hill, N.C. The band came together a year and a half ago, and it includes vocalist and saxophonist Eric Lawson, guitarist Jake “Hot Rod” Horton, upright bassist Jones “Jonesy” Smith, drummer “Jungle Jim” Kaylis, and Maaike Brender a’ Brandis, a badass lady trombonist. Kaylis describes their music as “along the lines of Rev. Horton heat with a touch of Squirrel Nut Zippers meets Hank Williams III.” Every member on stage has an incredibly energetic presence, which makes the band’s live show quite the hootenanny. The five-piece troupe is on the road now in support of its recently released Baby Likes Booze LP, which was recorded with Southern Culture on the Skids’ Rick Miller, a long-time friend of Kaylis. If it’s true you are the company you keep, the Phantom Playboys can’t possibly disappoint. —Kelly Rae Smith FRIDAY


BIG BAND ROCK | Kansas Bible Company
w/ Josh Roberts & the Hinges
Sat. Aug. 23
9 p.m.
Pour House

The Kansas Bible Company’s a big band, all right. The 12-man wrecking crew features a five-man horn line, three guitarists, two percussionists, a bassist, and a keyboardist. While that probably makes for some crowded stages, it adds some heft and dexterity to the Bible Co.’s funky, jammy rock. Triple guitars pile on the spiraling psychedelic riffs while twin percussionists layer complex rhythms. Frontman Carl Violet doles out goofy stream-of-altered-consciousness lines, and the horn section imparts variegated energies that vacillate between songs. For example, the brass section adds bright R&B backing to the ballad-y “Good and Better Decisions,” space-oddity cacophony to “Sunglasses,” and swamp-funk energy to “Rooster Crow.” Without the horns, KBC would be vaguely reminiscent of a more straightforward Phish or Widespread Panic. But in the case of Kansas Bible Company, the horn section turns relatively pedestrian jam rock into something approaching the cosmic. Or, at the very least, a pretty good time. Josh Roberts and the Hinges, a ripping roots-rock band that’s spent more time on the road than at home since moving from Columbia to the Holy City, will open. —Patrick Wall SATURDAY


FOLK ROCK | Emily and the Complexes
w/ Fiasco and Magic Camp
Fri. Aug. 22
9 p.m.
The Royal American

Tyler Verhagen’s the poet laureate of dirtbags and the dispossessed, the victims and their victimizers living on life’s fringes. That’s the territory he became familiar with five years ago when he hitchhiked America at age 21. After two years of tumbleweeding across seedy dive bars and blank-eyed stares, Verhagen returned to his home state of Ohio and put his observations to music, graduating from street-corner busking to a full band, Emily and the Complexes. In 2012, Verhagen debuted his album-long paean to not-so-good living, Styrofoam Plate Blues. On “Two States Away” he sings, “I wish I could feel productive/ I wish I could do something other than watching TV and sleeping.” He offers a low-rent “Trailer Home” come-on and ponders life in “If I Had Money,” explaining he’d “put it in my gas tank and drive for hours to your stupid redneck town.” It’s musical verité. The album reaches its apogee on the bluesy, bad boyfriend ode, “I Don’t Wanna Brush My Teeth.” On it, he sings, “I won’t stop you from loving me/ But I’m gonna make it hard.” The music’s a versatile mix of acoustic strummers, taut minor key elegies, and slashing indie rock that evokes Cheap Girls, Manchester Orchestra, and a little Lucero. Emily and the Complexes are touring in support of the EP Dirty Southern Love, released Aug. 18. —Chris Parker FRIDAY


ROWDY FOLK | Rachel Kate
w/ The Calamity Cubes
Mon. Aug. 25
9 p.m.
The Royal American

Bluesy Americana songstress Rachel Kate Gillon left Charleston for her hometown of Nashville back in February, and she hasn’t settled down one bit. Gillon always kept us on our toes in Charleston, shapeshifting from the raw rock ‘n’ roll power of The Shaniqua Brown to the sweet harmonies of The Local Honeys to the more stripped-down acoustic balladry of her solo work. Since arriving in Music City, she’s been recording a new album at Tiger Spa studio and touring for weeks at a time, hardly spending any time sitting still in her old stomping grounds. “Since I moved back, I basically have been on the road,” she says. “I’ve just been busting my butt, really.” When she comes back to Charleston this time, it’s going to be a reunion show, with accompaniment from Brad Edwardson on upright bass, Mackie Boles on guitar, and Jordan Igoe on vocals. Expect to hear some songs from her most recent album, Rachel Kate With Love and Hate, plus some new ones from her as-yet-unnamed next record. “The recording has been a little more electronic than I’ve done in the past,” Gillon says. “Rather than going in and setting up the whole band and playing it live, I’m using a lot more recording tricks, experimental sounds, and alternative percussion.” We’re ready to hear what she’s cooking up next. —Paul Bowers MONDAY